How to Organize a Junk Drawer in 30 Minutes

Organized junk drawer

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Organizing a junk drawer is a quick and easy organizational project that you can complete in five steps. Whether it's in your kitchen, bathroom, or home office, you may call it your "catch-all," your "coupon drawer," or your "multi-use drawer," but let's be honest, it's a junk drawer.

This is the place you store all those little odds and ends that don't quite fit anywhere else or that you rarely use but don't know where else to stow. In your kitchen, this might be your scissors, rubber bands, twist ties, and a notepad and pens. But fear not, even junk drawers can be neat and tidy with a little decluttering and some elbow grease. 

Declutter the Junk Drawer

Take everything out of the drawer. Be realistic about how or if you use every item and then purge, purge, purge. Do you really need a stockpile of soy sauce packets and a stack of old business cards you know you'll never use? It's not wasteful to throw out this clutter when it's simply wasting space.

Wipe It Clean

Once your drawer is empty, take the opportunity to give it a good dusting or scrubbing.

Sort, Group, and Arrange Into Piles

Once you've purged, begin to sort and group similar items in piles. You will find some items that you may not want in your junk drawer after all. Put those aside and continue to stack the remaining contents.

The beauty of the junk drawer is that everyone has their own unique junk. But there are a few essentials items that can make your junk drawer more efficient and user-friendly, Keep these items in mind to store in your drawer:

Kitchen Junk Drawer

  • Coupon holder
  • Recipe sorter
  • Pens and pencils
  • Notepad
  • Scissors

Office Junk Drawer

  • Label maker (small)
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pain relievers, bandages, and antibacterial ointment
  • Loose change
  • Hand sanitizer

Plan Storage Solutions

Measure the width and height of your drawer and decide what you will use to divide your items. They can be bought cheaply at any drug store or market. Depending on the dimensions of your drawer, keep these creative and unexpected junk drawer dividers in mind:

  • Expand-a-drawer organizer
  • Multiple sections drawer organizer
  • Shallow drawer organizers
  • Deep drawer organizers
  • Muffin tins
  • Ice cube trays
  • Makeup trays
  • Small see-through snap-lid storage boxes
Plastic drawer dividers
The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Arrange Your Storage

Arrange the grouped items in your new dividers. The contents of your drawer can remain a mishmash as long as you can quickly see what's in there. That's the key to an organized junk drawer. It's better than rifling through jumbled piles looking for what you need.

Maintain Organization

Upkeep is crucial, so go through your junk drawer and regularly purge to make space for new items. You might want to do a quick 15-minute clutter sweep of your junk drawer on a weekly, monthly, or seasonal basis. For example, consider going through the junk drawer the day you pay your monthly bills or on the first Monday night of the month. You may even consider purging on the day of the week you need your coupons.